Activists blast Mexico’s immigration law

The Mexican president has been here in the US criticizing the Arizona immigration law (which basically does what the unenforced federal law is supposed to do), yet finally someone is pointing out that Mexican immigration law is pretty similar to the Arizona law, and is abused in many ways. Maybe President Calderon should rethink Mexico’s laws first, before telling us what to do here.

From USAToday:

TULTITLN, Mexico — Arizona’s new law forcing local police to take a greater role in enforcing immigration law has caused a lot of criticism from Mexico, the largest single source of illegal immigrants in the United States.But in Mexico, illegal immigrants receive terrible treatment from corrupt Mexican authorities, say people involved in the system.

 And Mexico has a law that is no different from Arizona’s that empowers local police to check the immigration documents of people suspected of not being in the country legally.

 “There (in the United States), they’ll deport you,” Hector Vázquez, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, said as he rested in a makeshift camp with other migrants under a highway bridge in Tultitlán. “In Mexico they’ll probably let you go, but they’ll beat you up and steal everything you’ve got first.”

 Mexican authorities have harshly criticized Arizona’s SB1070, a law that requires local police to check the status of persons suspected of being illegal immigrants. The law provides that a check be done in connection with another law enforcement event, such as a traffic stop, and also permits Arizona citizens to file lawsuits against local authorities for not fully enforcing immigration laws.

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Congress, Ariz. school district sues taxpayers to stop questions

This is what things are coming to. Taxpayers don’t have a right to public records, don’t have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent, and attempts by taxpayers to find out this information is considered a form of harassment. This is usually because the government is covering up some type of corruption. Let’s use their own sort of logic against them: If you’ve got nothing to hide then why do you care if we see what you’re doing?

From goldwaterinstitute.org:

A handful of taxpayers in a small community north of Wickenburg, Arizona are being targeted by the local school district in a lawsuit that asks a judge to declare they have no right to request public records, sue the district, or complain to outside agencies.

The Congress Elementary School District claims that past efforts by these residents to obtain documents such as minutes of board meetings and spending reports amount to harassment that should not have to be tolerated.

But Jean Warren, one of the four defendants named in the lawsuit filed January 28, 2010, said the complaint is an illegal attempt to silence citizens who have questioned the district’s policies and spending practices.

“The whole thing is based on trying to shut us down so that nobody has any rights,” Warren said. “Just because you live in a small area does not mean you don’t have rights. Everything I believe about the Constitution and what it means to be a citizen of the USA is being shot down.”

The school district has a history of violating state laws mandating government transparency, according to investigations dating to 2002 done by the Arizona attorney general and state ombudsman. In 2002 and again in 2007, the district was found to be in violation of the state’s open meeting law by the Attorney General’s Office. In June 2009, the state ombudsman’s office admonished the district for its slow response to public records requests.

Liz Hill, the assistant state ombudsman for public access, told the Goldwater Institute she is not aware of any other instance in which a government agency has filed a court action seeking to block citizens from even requesting public records that should otherwise be available. It is something that frustrated government officials have talked about, but to her knowledge none has ever followed through, said Hill, who did not want to comment on whether the district’s lawsuit is justified.

“There’s a lot of talk about entities going and getting injunctions or other kinds of protective orders not to have to respond to certain individuals or certain requests,” Hill said. “But I haven’t actually been aware of any specific case, just more the theory of it. This is the first time I’ve actually seen someone go and attempt to do it.”

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In Arizona, death row may soon be run by private industry: report

From Raw Story:

The State of Arizona, seeking to close a $2 billion budget gap, is planning to open bidding on all but one of its prison facilities.

Included in the offerings to private firms is an opportunity to manage the captivity of those condemned to die: a move that, for the first time ever, would put a U.S. state’s death row in corporate hands, according to The New York Times.

“While executions would still be performed by the state, officials said, the Department of Corrections would relinquish all other day-to-day operations to the private operator and pay a per-diem fee for each prisoner,” the Times added.

Todd Thomas, a warden who works at a Corrections Corporation of America facility in Eloy, AZ, told the paper that he’s skeptical as to whether any private entity would ever want to manage a state’s death row because “the liability is too great.”

Privatizing all the state’s prisons would close about $100 million of the state’s $2 billion budget gap, the Times added.

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Guns Will Be OK in Arizona Bars Starting Wednesday

From CNSNews:

Phoenix (AP) – A new Arizona law allowing people with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns into bars takes effect Wednesday. But many bars are pulling in the welcome mat.

The law allows bar and restaurant owners to post signs barring guns.

There’s no official tally on how many of the 5,800 establishments that sell alcohol have posted signs, but the state says it has provided at least 1,300 laminated placards so far, and the signs are also available over the Internet.

The law was backed by the National Rifle Association, which argued that licensed gun owners shouldn’t be forced to leave their protection behind.

The law, however, prohibits gun-carriers from drinking alcohol in the establishments.

The NRA says Arizona is the 41st state with such a law.

Sheriff’s Office defies judge on order for system password

From AZCentral.com

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge on Friday ordered that the Sheriff’s Office divulge the password it forcefully installed on a county computer system linked to sensitive state and federal criminal-justice data.

But Chief Deputy David Hendershott later said he will refuse to share the password – even if it means he goes to jail.

During the Friday hearing, Judge Joseph Heilman said that if the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t divulge the password by Wednesday, he will “hold someone in contempt of court.” //

“I assume it’s going to be someone seated at this table,” he added, referring to Hendershott.

Read the rest:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/08/14/20090814computers0815.html